Ilana Preuss, CEO and FOunder of Recast City LLC, discusses how small manufacturing businesses can fill vacant storefronts and bring new vitality to struggling small town downtowns in cooperation with government agencies that rely on economic development and the commercial tax base to maintain and improve small town infrastructure.
Episode 608: Revitalizing Small Town Downtowns
Mr. Lewis Weiss is Host of Manufacturing Talk Radio and President of All Metals & Forge Group, the principal sponsor of the show. He has 60 years in the metals industry as a manufacturer of open die forgings and seamless rolled rings, running a business that sells forged products globally to OEMs, major manufacturers, mid-size first- and second-tier suppliers, and small metalworking companies. Lewis Weiss puts his experience in manufacturing to good use as an expert consultant on various TV and radio programs nationwide.
Mr. Tim Grady is an Executive Producer and Co-host of Manufacturing Talk Radio. He brings more than 25 years of knowledge as a senior strategist and business advisor to companies of all sizes in more than thirty industries, advising them on revving up revenues, macro and micro marketing, strategic selling, organization optimization, website ergonomics, data mining, and other external or internal factors that can accelerate or impede business operations and net profit.
Ilana Preuss is the Founder of Recast City LLC, and author of Recast Your City: How to Save Your Downtown with Small-Scale Manufacturing. Preuss’ consulting firm works with local leaders, real estate developers, city and other civic leaders to integrate space for small-scale producers into redevelopment projects and place-based economic development. She is passionate about making great places and sees that small-scale manufacturers are a missing piece in today’s real estate and economic development efforts.
With over 20 years of experience in community development, Ms. Preuss projects at Recast City span the country – from Washington, D.C. to Honolulu, HI. Through work with small-scale manufacturing business owners, real estate developers, foundations, city planning and economic development offices, improvement districts, and mayors, the projects go from idea to action to build great places with vibrant economies.
Ms. Preuss’ book, Recast Your City: How to Save your Downtown with Small-Scale Manufacturing, was released by Island Press in 2021. In 2017, Ms. Preuss co-authored, Made in PLACE: Small-scale manufacturing and placemaking, in partnership with Smart Growth America and funded by a grant from U.S. EDA, and she co-authored, Discovering Your City’s Maker Economy, for National League of Cities, in partnership with Etsy and Urban Manufacturing Alliance.
Ms. Preuss is an experienced speaker, see her TEDx presentation, “The Economic Power of Great Places,” and keynote speeches such as at the Northeast Maker Summit and the North Carolina Main Street conference.
Previously, Ilana was Vice President & Chief of Staff at Smart Growth America and worked in the US EPA Smart Growth Division, and she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the national non-profit, Incremental Development Alliance